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Man on Excavator Joyride Smashes Into Gainesville, FL, Self-Storage Facility, Other Businesses

September 13, 2023

1 Min Read
Man on Excavator Joyride Smashes Into Gainesville, FL, Self-Storage Facility, Other Businesses

A man was arrested in Gainesville, Florida, on Monday after he stole an excavator from a construction site and drove it into several local businesses, including self-storage facility. The joyride caused an estimated $2 million in damages, according to the source.

Jesse Smith, 47, managed to “hotwire” the $350,000 piece of equipment at around 8 p.m. He then drove it through several power lines and a fire hydrant, eventually entering Storage Depot at 2707 S.W. 40th Blvd., where he rammed into multiple units. The facility operator requested that reporters not enter the site due to safety concerns; however, much of the property damage was visible from the facility entrance.

After leaving the self-storage property, Smith moved on to Swamp City Fitness, then crashed into a Walmart. Though he ran out of the store wielding a machete and refused to surrender to police, he was eventually taken into custody. No one was injured.

Smith faces seven charges including armed trespassing, criminal mischief and grand theft, the source reported.

Storage Depot offers drive-up and temperature-controlled self-storage units as well as storage. It’s managed by Storage Asset Management.

Source: News 4 Jax, Suspect ‘Hotwires’ Excavator, Runs With Machete and Causes Millions in Damages in Gainesville: Police

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